Children's interpretations of illustrations and written language in picture books
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractChildren's responses to picture books are documented through this qualitative research involving a case study of three students in an intermediate elementary classroom. The study focuses on multiple ways of knowing through examining students' responses to these books through language and art. Specific research questions within this context are: How is the learning environment constructed to support children's responses to picture books? How do children respond to picture books?, What are the children's responses to the illustrations in picture books? and How do children create their own interpretations of the illustrations and written language in picture books? The theoretical frame for this study is based in semiotic theory and transactional theory as well as reader response research, picture books and response, visual literacy, children's responses to art, literary content analysis of picture books, reviews of picture book illustrations, interviews with illustrators, and illustrators reflecting on their artistic processes. The curriculum design developed of this study integrates children's literature and art. The curriculum cycle was an introduction of a picture book or textset, followed by a literature discussion, studio art experiences, and a reflective interview. The infusion of fine arts into the classroom curriculum more closely resembles the multiple ways children approach learning in the world outside school. The combination of written language and illustration in picture books can provide children with an introduction to literature and literacy. In the study, students were encouraged to read a variety of picture books and respond through literature discussion and art experiences. The findings related to the case study of three students were organized within two main areas: meaning making within a picture book and meaning making within the artwork. The picture book was defined as a unique art form that was central to the lives of students as they developed visual literacy. The students' responses were extremely sophisticated and showed that they were capable of complex understandings of art and literature.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture